THE railway line between Limerick and Ennis will remain closed for six weeks, and potentially longer, due to flooding on the line at Ballycar.
Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail advised on Tuesday that instead bus transfers will operate between Limerick and Ennis, also serving Sixmilebridge, for the duration of the closure. Buses will depart all stations at the scheduled train time. Train services will, however, continue to operate as normal between Ennis and Galway.
The line has flooded following a significant increase in water levels at Ballycar Lough due to the recent sustained heavy rainfall, and the slow draining nature of the karst landscape in the area. Should the recent rainfall patterns persist, this will extend significantly the duration of the closure of the rail line. according to Iarnród Éireann.
Iarnród Éireann raised the track level by 60 centimetres at Ballycar in 2003 to mitigate against the effects of flooding. However, the current flood levels are at least 50 centimetres over the rail head and rising, resulting in the suspension of services since February 2.